Interview: DCWS Connects With Alternative Pop Singer-Songwriter Krista Marina

Krista Marina is an alternative pop singer/songwriter whose music blends jazz, blues, and sometimes folk, influences. We connected with Krista, who is also a Worldsarts Featured Artist, to find out more about how she got her start singing and songwriting, what she's most proud with her debut EP "Bittersweet", what her goals are for the rest of the year, and much more. 

After reading our exclusive Q&A with Krista, be sure to follow her on social media, check out her website and stream/download "Bittersweet"!

Tell us about how you got your start singing and songwriting. Do you remember the first song you wrote?

As a young kid, I always loved to sing. I also loved to pretend I could play instruments, until I started formally taking piano lessons when I was 8. It was at that point that I discovered songwriting. I would always avoid practicing the piano piece my teacher would give me to learn. Instead, I would either add my own style to the piece or make up my own. I still love doing that today - making my own version of other songs. It's always exciting playing a cover live and seeing people react to my spin on a song they recognize. 

I very distinctly remember the first song I wrote. I never named it, but I still have the lyrics in my notebook and still know how to play it. It's seriously a terrible song. 

What did you learn about yourself as an artist when you were a part of the band for five years? 

I learned a ton about myself as an artist while I was in a band for five years. It was during that span of time when I first started searching for and developing who I wanted to be as an artist. I absolutely loved being in a band and working with other musicians who understood my creative stream. I also learned a lot about arranging music for live shows as well as playing live. The band was a trio and, at times, a duo so we all had an immense role in arranging the vocals and instruments to fill up the sound. Throughout the entire experience, I was also doing my own writing, finding inspiration from shows and the other experiences that came along with being in the band. 

What do you enjoy most about performing live?

Without a doubt, what I enjoy most about playing live is sharing moments with people. In every show, there are always moments in which I, personally, am so immersed and present in what I'm doing and the words I'm singing. The best feeling is opening my eyes to see that other people are in that same headspace with me. Looking out in the audience, you can see it in someone's eyes when they are fully listening and connecting. Everyone has things going on and I know a lot of people, like me, who constantly have their mind running with thoughts. But those moments during shows put everything on pause - like nothing else matters. Even if I'm singing about pain, the audience and I are sharing that emotion. And that makes those moments euphoric. That's why I love doing this. That's why I dedicate so much time and energy to this passion - for those moments of pure connection and absorption. 

What are you most proud of with your debut EP "Bittersweet"? Do you have a favorite song on the EP? Where can our readers stream/download it?

The aspect of my EP "Bittersweet" that I am most proud of is how much of myself is in it - from writing every song, to producing each track. I produced, wrote out, and recorded all the instrument parts in each track before even going in to the studio to formally record them. There were definitely changes made along the way, but the foundation remained essentially the same.  

I can't choose one song from the EP as my ultimate favorite because each song is so special to me. Each track is like a baby I raised, for lack of a better way to explain it. I love them all equally, in different ways! But there is one track that had a unique story: "Babe" was recorded completely live. The version on the EP is one, through take with just myself and guitarist Jimmy Hua jamming out. I wrote the song on an acoustic guitar so hearing it on an electric with a bluesy amp brought it to life. But we wanted to take it a step further and make sure the emotion in the song pierced through the recording. Putting the live studio version on the EP seemed like the best way to achieve that goal.

The EP can be found on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Youtube, and Soundcloud

What are your goals musically for this year? Can we expect a new single or video soon?

My main focus, as far as music, for this year is to play as many shows as possible, continue evolving my live set, and to collaborate with as many artists as possible. I often write for other artists and I hope to continue doing that, too. I am also working on a new single. There is no formal release date yet, but keep an eye out! The best way to stay up to date with upcoming music or shows is on my Facebook or Instagram. 

I'm excited to see what this year will bring. I've learned a lot since releasing the EP last summer and I can't wait to keep sharing stories and making connections with new people. 

Connect with Krista Marina: Website   Instagram   Spotify   YouTube   Facebook   iTunes